Mayor of Liverpool Joe Anderson has spoken for the first time after being arrested and bailed as part of a Merseyside Police investigation. Tony McDonough reports
Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson has spoken for the first time after being arrested on Friday along with four other men.
Mr Anderson, 62, was arrested by Merseyside Police as part of Operation Aloft, an investigation into building and development contracts. The others are a 72-year-old man from Aigburth in Liverpool, a 33-year-old man from West Derby in the city, a 46-year-old-man from Ainsdale and a 25-year-old man from Ormskirk.
Merseyside Police confirmed on Saturday morning that all five, who had been arrested “in connection with offences of bribery and witness intimidation”, had been released on conditional bail, pending further inquiries.
Last night Mr Anderson was also administratively suspended by the Labour Party pending the outcome of the investigation. He said he had co-operated fully with the police and that he would be speaking to his council colleagues over the weekend.
In a statement to the Liverpool Echo, he said: “I was arrested as part of Operation Aloft on Friday 4th December, and interviewed for six hours. I co-operated fully with Merseyside Police and will continue to be co-operative in their continuing enquiries.
“I will be talking to my cabinet colleagues over the weekend to ensure the challenges our city faces with the COVID pandemic continue to receive the focus they deserve. I also support the Labour Party’s decision to apply an administrative suspension while this investigation continues.
“I have been bailed to return in one month’s time. Given the investigation is continuing, and there are bail conditions, I will not be making any further comments.”